MOLINE, IL—The Tulsa Oilers traveled to the land of Lincoln a day after the Great Emancipator’s birthday to take on the Quad City Mallards with two clear objectives: reverse a three game slide begun last week and get back in the playoff hunt with a clear, regulation win.
The debacle of a 7-3 loss to the Missouri Mavericks Tuesday night dropped the Oilers out of the fourth and final playoff spot and to a record of 21-22-4 with 46 points.
That put them a point behind the Rapid City Rush, who were the chief architects of the Oilers losing slide a week ago and who had leapfrogged over them into sole possession of the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL Central Division.
So Tulsa clearly had their work cut out for them going into the game with Quad City.
Early on in the game Tulsa forward Drew Fisher scored on a 5-on-3 power play at 3:54 on the first period to give the visitors a 1-0 lead that they would take into the game’s first break. Fisher tipped in a slap shot from Adam Pleskach and past Mallards goalie Parker Milner.
Then with a little over half the second period gone Brady Ramsay found room to put the puck in under the crossbar at 10:57 of the middle period to give the Oilers a two-goal cushion. After receiving the puck in the corner, Ramsay darted toward Mallards’ goalie Parker Milner and found space over Milner’s shoulder for his third goal of the season and first as a member of the Oilers.
The impending shutout for Tulsa goalie Kevin Carr was ruined after Mike Monfredo jammed home the rebound of a Justin Fox shot with 1.1 seconds remaining in the second period.
In the third period, the Oilers successfully eliminated two more Quad City power plays and finished the night 6-for-7 on the penalty kill. A boarding major against Fox gave the Oilers a man-advantage over the final 2:33 of the third, but with Milner pulled to even the number of skaters, the Mallards generated one final push. Carr stoned Kevin Baker from the top of the crease and slid to his left to rob Jeff Lee with his final save of the contest.
In the end Kevin Carr made 39 saves on 40 Quad City shots to help his team to a hard fought win and the game’s first star. For the moment it place the Oilers back into playoff position with a record of 22-22-4 with 48 points. Across the rink, Parker Milner made 34 saves on 36 Tulsa shots. The Oilers went one for six on the power play and the Mallards went one for seven.
Both teams will face each other on Saturday night, this time in the BOK Center at 7:35pm.